Failure to create the Special Tribunal may have serious consequences for Kosovo

Failure to create the Special Tribunal may have serious consequences for Kosovo

Pristina, 29 June 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Kosovo’s parliament has not given the green light to the Special Tribunal, which was supposed to try crimes allegedly perpetrated by former members of the former Kosovo Liberation Army.

Representatives of the government, western diplomats and analysis in Pristina say that the failure to create the tribunal threatens Kosovo’s relations with the international community and the Euroatlantic perspective of the new state.

Kosovo’s PM, Isa Mustafa says that the government must be engaged in meeting its international obligations that relate to the creation of the Special Tribunal.

“We’re determined to build a state with a European and Euroatlantic perspective. In this process, we will show how serious we are in fulfilling international agreements approved in the parliament of Kosovo, which have special constitutional powers. Following consultations with legal experts, we will proceed to find the necessary solutions”, Mustafa declared.

Kosovo’s deputy PM, Hashim Thaci insists for this institution to be voted by the parliament of Kosovo.

“The creation of the tribunal by Parliament would be of an interest for Kosovo and the Euroatlantic future of our country. Meanwhile, its creation by the UN Security Council would have a high political and national cost, because this would see the involvement of the opponents of the independence of Kosovo”, Thaci said.

EU-USA disappointed

Representatives of the international community in Pristina were also disappointed by this process.

US ambassador to Kosovo, Tracey Ann Jacobson said that USA is very disappointed about the failure to pass the amendments which would give way to the special tribunal.

“We are disappointed by the result of the voting in parliament. The result is an obstacle for the Euroatlantic aspirations of Kosovo. As we have stressed before, in the absence of the creation of the special tribunal, the US government will not block the efforts of the members who do not recognize Kosovo to create the tribunal at the UN”, Jacobson declared.

Representative of the European Union to Kosovo, Samuel Zbogar says that the failure to approve the tribunal puts in danger Kosovo’s European integration.

“The EU was informed on the negative voting of the constitutional amendments which would have enable the creation of the Special Chambers of Kosovo and the Special Prosecutor’s Office. Kosovo has no other alternative but investigate the serious allegations coming out of the Council of Europe 2011 report”, Zbogar said.

According to him, this is the only way for the EU to continue and work with the institutions of Kosovo.

Norwegian ambassador, Jan Braathu said that the fact that the special tribunal was not voted in parliament, is truly disappointing.

“This tribunal is not against the independence of Kosovo; on the contrary, it strengthens it. But the opposite took place”, Braathu said.

Meanwhile, experts of European and international affairs are convinced that the failure to vote the creation of the tribunal will damage relations between Brussels and Pristina.

“The failure to vote the tribunal is a negative signal in the relations between Kosovo and the EU. This slows down the implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the liberalization of visas and the integration of the country in this powerful organization”, says the professor of  European Law, Baardhyl Hasanpapaj.

According to him, this process will be negatively reflected in Kosovo’s international recognition.

Meanwhile, IBNA learns that Kosovo’s government is looking into the possibility of sending this matter for voting in parliament once again, while opposition representatives have also lowered their tones against this court following pressure exerted by the international community. /ibna/